The City of Calgary was on the forefront of helping people, as they set up the first Snow Angel campaign in North America, ten years ago.
The Snow Angel campaign recognizes good citizens who shovel the walks for people who may not be able to do it themselves.
“What is really neat is people, who normally would just do it, get recognized and that’s amazing,” said John Mungham, community social worker with the City of Calgary.
In the ten years of the campaign the City has given out 6,400 snow angel pins. During the first week of December 165 nominations poured in.
Debra Newton has been recognized as a Snow Angel for the past two years said, “I think it [the campaign] is about good neighbours, we’ve lived here for 39 years and we’ve always had great neighbours.” Newton said the neighbour she shovels the walk for, is always very grateful, and blows her kisses when she’s out shoveling. “We just like to give back, it makes you feel good.”
The Streets Bylaw requires sidewalks adjacent to properties to be cleared of snow and ice down to the pavement within 24 hours after a snowfall.
Shoveling can be a very dangerous task for older adults and those with limited mobility, and un-shoveled walks can be just as dangerous. The City encourages those who are able, to adopt a sidewalk this winter for someone in the neighbourhood.
Newton said it’s important to shovel someone else’s walk because, “It lets them stay in their homes, because a lot of them couldn’t afford to get someone to do it.”
Calgary’s snow angel campaign is unique, because there isn’t a group of people waiting to be called to help someone with their walk, the snow angels are the people who live next to you,” said Mungham.
“You’re helping your neighbour, that’s what makes it so special, people helping each other,” said Mungham. Newton hopes she can continue being a snow angel for her neighbours for another ten years.
Mungham said there are many Calgarians who are snow angels, but are not recognized.
If someone has cleaned your sidewalk, call 3-1-1 to nominate them as a snow angel. Everyone who is nominated gets recognition from Mayor Naheed Nenshi, and is entered into a prize draw.